Todd Whitehead earned his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary in 2004. He had worked in accounting for Zargon Oil and Gas for several years when he realized that his preference was to work in land.
“In accounting, it’s like you’re providing a service to the company. Whereas in land, you feel like you’re part of the operation. Your decisions affect the company.”
He worked as a broker with Calgary’s Standard Land Co. Inc. and looked for an educational program. As an alumnus, Todd thought that the U of C’s Petroleum Land Management degree program looked promising. “But U of C won’t let alumni take their PLM program,” he says.
Without an official credential Todd found it challenging to obtain employment in his chosen field, so he was pleased when MRU launched the Petroleum Land Business program.
He appreciated that all of the classes were taught by industry professionals with a combination of theory and hands-on practice in land business. “The fact that the classes were taught in the evenings was great,” Todd says. “It would have been difficult to juggle work and daytime classes.”
Todd is now a Land Contracts Analyst with Enerplus. “I had to hit the ground running,” he says. “Without the knowledge I got in the program, it would have been even more challenging.”
Born and raised in Red Deer, Todd appreciates the many opportunities in Calgary’s oil patch. “I came for school and never left,” he says. His wife is an engineer who also works in oil and gas. They are expecting their first child this summer.
– by Karen McCarthy